, Volume 387, Issue 0, pp 101–107

Phylogenetic relationships of phylum Rotifera with emphasis on the families of Bdelloidea

  • Giulio Melone
  • Claudia Ricci
  • Hendrik Segers
  • Robert L. Wallace


We investigated phylogenetic relationships of phylum Rotifera using cladistic analysis to uncover all most-parsimonious trees from a data set comprising 60 morphological characters of nine taxa: one Acanthocephala, six Rotifera, and two outgroups (Turbellaria, Gnathostomulida). Analysis of our matrix yielded a single most-parsimonious tree. From our analysis we conclude the following: (1) Class Digononta is paraphyletic; (2) it is still premature to reject rotiferan monophyly; (3) the classification hierarchy that best conforms to this morphologically based, cladistic analysis is similar to several traditional schemes. In spite of these results, it is significant that this analysis yielded a tree that is incongruent with those trees developed from molecular data or by using the principles of evolutionary taxonomy.

Acanthocephala aschelminthes cladistics evolution Gnathostomulida phylogeny pseudocoelomates Rotifera 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Melone
    • 1
  • Claudia Ricci
    • 1
  • Hendrik Segers
    • 2
  • Robert L. Wallace
    • 3
  1. 1.1Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversita di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Zoogeography and Nature Conservation, Dept. M.S.E.University of GhentGentBelgium
  3. 3.3Department of BiologyRipon CollegeRiponU.S.A

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